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Dallas Fish Market - Top 10 in Dallas?

I think not. And while I usually fall right in line with the raving lunatics when there's a great new place in town, I just can't join up for this one. It is located dowtown in the old Jeraboam spot. Texas Monthly just named it one of the top 10 in the state. Dallas Morning News says it was one of last years top 10 new restaurants. I say it could easily be the best restaurant in Waco. But, not Dallas. And certainly not in the state.

It's beautiful. The interior doesn't even remind me of Jeraboam anymore. It's a little stark. But, it's beautiful.

The food, on my visit, was completely forgettable. It tasted clean. And that's about it. One of my companions even commented that it needed salt. Salt? Jeez.

The waiter's first recommendation was the striped bass and he said their top seller was the skate BLT. Everyone at the table had one or the other. The only person that seemed to have had a dish she really, really liked had the mussels as an appetizer. I had spicy tuna roll. It tasted fine. But, again, no big deal. And the roll slices were very large. I don't like that. I want to comfortably put the slice in my mouth without haveing to tear it apart or have it fall into pieces on the plate. Here's another thing that kind of bothered me. The oyster appetizer is served over Asian sauted vegtables. So, is the striped bass. One of my companions almost ordered both these dishes. There are a lot of vegetables in this world. For a single serving appetizer that cost over $10 and fish that cost $16 you'd be expecting more than the same vegetable twice. The overall effect was that the food was bland.

Maybe we're getting the wrong stuff. But, my husband was taking a recommendation from a waiter he's known for years. The bread hunks and seasoned olive oil was good. It lead me to believe that we were going to have this great experience. Didn't happen. And after a lack luster lunch it took the waitress 30 minutes to handle the check. Everything I heard about this place made me think it would be great. Well, now I know. At least we saved a little money trying it for lunch instead of dinner.

Diner's comments:

"The only thing that had any flavor was the wine"

"Thoroughly disappointed and I spent 60 bucks"

"Best in... Lubbock?"

"She almost brought the check. She was so close."

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  1. I agree with you. The food was totally forgettable and not worth the money!

    We had lunch there over a month ago.
    First of all, they were out of a lot of stuff. I ordered swordfish and got a substitute.
    (supposedly mako shark, but my companion says that's not what I got so I don't know
    what I ate!) Amberjack was also out. So was Espresso mousse.

    The host was delivering food to the tables in his suit. Was one of the waiters out sick???

    My companion ordered a special, Australian something, very similar to trout.
    It was good and better than my swordfish substitute, but was it worth the money ($16-17 for lunch)? No!

    1. You are so right. As I said in another post recently, the Alices went to DFM before the Bob Dylan concert last week, and were VERY disappointed. The food was good (actually, quite good), but not "top 10 in the state." What blew us away was how awful the service was. It would be too painful to recount the evening here, but suffice it to say that our waiter was a stubborn idiot who, among other things, refused to serve a double-sized order of the mussels appetizer as an entree ("we don't have a big enough bowl" -- how about bringing out two bowls, Einstein?) and wanted to bring us warm beer . . . why am I going on about this? The manager gave us a card for a free bottle of wine on our next visit, but we're not going back. Downtown needs a place like what DFM is trying to be -- but isn't. Pity.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dallas Alice

        I'm glad to that I'm not alone on this one. Now can someone explain how they've received all this hype in the press?

      2. This is EXACTLY the reason I'm so reluctant to try high end restaurants anymore. You run the risk of mediocre food and/or service. And why is it necessary in these places to approach the menu like it's a mine field? "Dare I order this or maybe I should go for the 'popular' dish?" Shouldn't EVERYTHING on the menu be good?

        I'm a long time CH, and I would dearly LOVE to try Nobu, BLT, Craft, Bice, etc. but I'm too afraid. The two exceptions I can think of off hand that I would not hesitate going to are York St and Lola's. I can't recall a bad word about either place.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Scagnetti

          Yeah, I completely agree. Price points have gotten out of control for restaurants that serve mediocre plates. People are approaching the menu like a mine field because they don't want to drop $30+ on one dish that is completely pedestrian.

          1. re: adkim

            Exactly. The very reason that I often wait for Restaurant Week to try the really expensive ones at a discount. Lunch is also a way to try them on the cheaper side. Still, you never know. Who wants to spend even $35 for a 3 course you meal you don't enjoy?

          2. re: Scagnetti

            We stay away from downtown and uptown restaurants because every time we try, it's a disappointment. You're paying for real estate and decor, not for food!

            1. re: kuidaore

              Well put Kuidaore! My thoughts exactly!

            2. re: Scagnetti

              I am shocked that a long time CH-er has not tried York St and Lola! I would also add Bijoux to that list. Don't hesitate to go! I would hold off on Bice. We used to go to the one in NY all the time, but we are done and over that one. I really like Nobu even though it gets mixed reviews here.

              1. re: pizzaQTpie

                PQTP - I just saw your post after I posted mine! Hopefully Scagnetti will thank us both!

              2. re: Scagnetti

                Oh my god! Scagnetti, I see your posts all the time and you haven't been to York Street or Lola's??? I don't care where you live or how much credit card debt you may have, get over to both PRONTO!

              3. Okay, okay! I've been remiss in my CH duties! I'll make arrangements to go to York St and Lola's post haste.

                This is no excuse but I did got to York St many years ago when it was run by the original owners who are long gone. The husband was the chef and the wife ran the room.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Scagnetti

                  I went there back then as well. But, I've gone a few times recently, too, and it's always great. My downfall is that I haven't been to Lola. I'm kind of ashamed of myself. Bijoux, though, is to die for! My current very favorite.

                2. I really liked Jeroboam, mostly for sentimental reasons, so was a little reluctant to try DFM. First off, everyone raves, but I thought the interior was much better as Jeroboam. White on white chic doesn't make me hungry; it makes me want to buy modern art and travel to Stockholm or something.
                  I thought the food was pretty good though, although they were also out of the swordfish the night we went (Saturday 8pm?). 3 of us split 3 apps; Oysters on half shell (as good as they can be, and very good), fried oysters (very good) and muscles (average). For dinner we had lobster, skate and scallops. All were pretty good and the presentations were great, but I’d have a hard time believing top 10. This fish selection itself was pretty run of the mill; these were the best looking things on the menu that night. I would have thought there would be more exotic offerings for seafood at a place called Fish Market. Should I have had sushi? The sides were serviceable.
                  The service was great and I wish more Dallas restaurants had wine programs like this (unique wines at GREAT prices). I really want to like this place since it’s downtown…maybe the corporate account out-of-towners will keep up business until they find their groove.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sike101

                    You said the oyster quality was good, but how diverse was the selection? In my opinion, the best thing about Oceanaire is that they have both great quality and large variety.

                    1. re: gavlist

                      There was no "selection". Its been about a month and a half ago, but I believe they were PEIs, mostly an afterthough, or prethought, or whatever, but good. No comparison to Oceanaire. I love the oysters there, never seen anything like it. Best kept secret in town; half priced oyster happy hour. A dozen (or so) with a couple of vodkas and I can skip dinner. Actually, that might be my favorite dinner.